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Rocky Mountain Summit Track & Lookout

Home  »  South Island Walks  »  Wanaka  »  Rocky Mountain Summit Track & Lookout – Walk detail

The Rocky Mountain Summit Track walk to the lookout is a medium to hard 8km walk that will take you around 3 hours return. On the Rocky Mountain Summit Track walk you will get fantastic views of Mt Aspiring 2158Mt, Roy’s Peak 1569 Mt and look across to Treble Cone Sky Field plus stunning views of Lake Wanaka. Only a 20-minute drive from Wanaka shopping centre.

If you don’t have enough time for this big walk then take the easier Diamond Lake Walk.

If you need transport and would prefer a guide then take a guided tour to Rocky Mountain via Diamond Lake.

Quick Facts

•  Location: Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand
•  Distance: 8 km
•  Time needed: 3 Hours
•  Difficulty: Hard
•  Wheelchair Access: No
•  Route: Round Trip
•  Elevation: 767m
•  Wet Feet: No
•  Toilets: Yes
•  Dogs: No
•  Mobile Coverage: Yes
•  Last Updated: November, 2019

  • Track Highlights

    At the top of Rocky Mountain Summit Track lookout, you will get fantastic views of Lake Wanaka, Mt Aspiring 2158 Mt, Roy’s Peak 1569 Mt and look across to Treble Cone Sky Field. Just stunning.

  • Track Quality

    We walked up Rocky Mountain Summit Track via the Eastern Track. From the car park to Diamond Lake was excellent, then you are into an uphill climb all the way to Rocky Mountain Lookout. The track turns into a goat track from the turnoff to Lake Wanaka Lookout to Rocky Mountain Lookout, with a few steps thrown in for good luck from Diamond Lake lookout. From the plateau, the last 45 minutes up to the lookout, the track is very narrow and can be quite tricky, if not dangerous when wet. We doubled back to the plateau down the Eastern track because we did not see the track or sign turning off to the Western Track at the top of Rocky Mountain. So, I can not say what condition the Western track is like down to the Plateau. Taking the Western Track form the Plateau back to the car park was in better condition, but you will miss out on the fantastic views of Lake Wanaka from the Eastern Track.

  • Hazards

    From the plateau, the last 45 minutes up to Rocky Mountain Lookout via the Eastern track is very narrow and can be quite tricky, if not dangerous when wet. Sections of the track can be steep and are often slippery, even in summer. Extreme care is required. Because of ice, this track is not recommended during winter.

  • Transport

    You’ll need to make your own way there by car, no public transport. If you need transport then take a guided tour to Rocky Mountain.

  • Water

    No drinking water on this walk. There is only one toilet at the Diamond Lake car park.

  • Driving Instructions

    20 min drive from Wanaka township.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    Only in Wanaka town

  • Area & Track History

    Unknown

  • Map location of Rocky Mountain Summit Track & Lookout

    Map of walk

Point 1: Diamond Lake Lookout

If you get off to an early start, you might snap a perfect mirror photo of the Diamond Lake as you pass by. Within 30 minutes you will be at the Diamond Lake Lookout. This section of walk I found very interesting with the steps running up the side of rock formation and walking through the bush.

Point 2: Wanaka Lake Lookout turn off

From the Diamond Lake Lookout, you break out into the sun and great views of the valley below. The next turnoff will be the Western Track to your left. Then on to the Wanaka Lake turn off in about 25 minutes. You can save yourself some time and give the lookout a miss. There are better views to be had on the top of Rocky Mountain Summit Track at the lookout.

Point 3: The Plateau

The next turnoff is at the Plateau this is around 20 minutes. The track is narrow and steep. With one short but steep section to climb. There is a short track to the right just 10 metres before the next turn off, this track runs off to another lookout. At the Eastern and Western tracks turn off, stop and listen, you might hear the frogs in the pond to your left. Turn right and head off to the top of Rocky Mountain Summit Track Lookout, this section of track is very narrow and steep.

Point 4: Rocky Mountain Summit Track Lookout

This 40 minute climb was amazing, nonstop views of Lake Wanaka but I had to watch where I put my feet the track was narrow, very narrow and it is a long way to roll to the bottom. We could not have picked a better day for this walk. No wind to speak of and no clouds, a perfect day. At one stage there were 18 people sitting in the sun enjoying the view of Lake Wanaka at the summit of the Rocky Mountains. With my 12 power binoculars I could see the cars parked up at Treble Cone sky field. When it was time to go home we just got up and headed back the same way. We did not see a sign to show us the way to the Western track.

Point 5: Western Track

We doubled back down the narrow track to the plateau and back to the Western and Eastern track turn off we pasted on the way to the top, from there it was a five minute walk across the plateau to the start of the Western track.

Point 6: Car park via The Western Track

The Western Track is easy to follow, and a lot easier on the feet then the Eastern Track. You don’t get the fantastic views of Lake Wanaka, but this track has it own special views of Treble Cone Sky Field and the incredible Mount Aspiring national Park. There is an interesting rocky George to work your way through and a short section of bush before meeting up with the first Eastern and Western sign post you walk past on your way up to Rocky Mountain Lookout.

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Contact info

Rocky Peak Viewpoint, Glendhu Bay 9382, New Zealand

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